The Hillman Land and Iron Company was established during the late 1840’s by Daniel Hillman. It has ties to local agriculture and early industry in the South. With the Industrial Revolution came the demand for iron products. The iron furnaces located in the Land Between the Lakes directly contributed to a regional industry that covered western Kentucky to the southern counties of Middle Tennessee. The Hillman family built two of the eight furnaces in the region, the Fulton Furnace and the Center Furnace. Austin Peay State University has the original business records of the Hillman Land and Iron Company. No copies of these records are known to exist elsewhere.

The Collection at the Woodward Library

The Hillman Land and Iron Company Collection contains 9.875 linear feet of documents about the business, agriculture, and iron industry in the Land Between the Lakes region of Middle Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky. The company’s documents are from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s and include items such as administrative letters and invoices, ledgers, deeds and land sales, photographs, farm leases, tobacco crop records, agriculture records, and information on furnace tracts, TVA land acquisitions, coal rights, the TVA Hillman Ferry operations, and the 1919-1925 reorganization of the Hillman Land Company. Additionally, this collection contains information about the daily business activities and operations of the company store, the manufacturing of charcoal, the preparation of iron ore, and information about local families.

Accessing the Collection

If you have questions regarding the Hillman Land and Iron Company collection or want to view items contained within it, contact Woodard Library's Special Collections Librarian Sean Hogan (931-221-1325 / or Digital Services Assistant Scott Shumate (931-221-6628 /

Preservation Project and Staff

The organization, preservation, and partial digitization of the Hillman Land and Iron Company Project took place during the 2014-2015 academic year. The project was funded by a Tennessee State and National Archival Partnership (SNAP) Grant. This grant provided the Woodward Library with money to purchase supplies and pay workers to preserve the collection. The following members were part of the team:

  • Gina Garber, Digital Services Librarian and Archivist - Project Manager and Grant Writer
  • Sean Hogan, Special Collections Librarian - Processing and Description of Collection Materials
  • Scott Shumate, Digital Services Assistant - Web Site Design, Organization, and Oversight of Student Workers
  • Sarah Myers, Digital Services Student Assistant - Processing and Description of Collection Materials
  • Andrew Thompson, Digital Services Student Assistant - Preservation of Collection Materials